The Pancheon of Lanyon 

When Stuart Emmett and Pat Wood were digging in the former Tye and buddle area of the Lanyon Project Site, they found many sherds of pottery, one of which, when examined by Carl Thorpe at the Cornwall Archaeology Unit, proved to be of an early type of Cornish pottery, namely ‘Lostwithiel Ware’, from the 17-18th Century.

From that single sherd, calculations as to its original size and construction were made, and the projected design was given to John Swan of the Pendeen Pottery & Gallery.  He readily grasped the idea, and having made many types of pancheon during his career, agreed to produce a ‘one-off’ to illustrate our find.

This pancheon, ( or domestic cream separation vessel ), has seemed to be one of the earliest examples of a ‘crossover-use’ of an item of domestic ware to that of an industrial use for tin-extraction at the site at Lanyon.  The process would involve ‘panning’ by swirling the accumulated metal-bearing deposits from the buddle, thereby allowing the heavier metal to be distinguished and removed for smelting.

On the next page, the first picture shows John Swan holding the pancheon, which is about 18“ diameter and 5” high.  The second picture shows the sherd of 17-18th Century Lostwithiel Ware pottery, about 5” long, from which the calculations were made. The third shows the absolute beauty of the vessel, before it was glazed.

Our sincere thanks go to John Swan for his expertise in throwing our pancheon - not an easy task due to its size and weight.  Stuart can’t wait to have a go at tin separation with it !